This is part one of a four-part article about the industrial cleaning market.

Chip Niswonger, president of Scioto Services in Columbus, Ohio, never imagined that providing industrial cleaning services would require his employees to rappel from the ceiling of a warehouse. But when a customer asked for help with a complex cleaning situation, that’s exactly what it took to clean up the mess.

“The client had a food warehouse with milk containers that were bursting, and the walls and equipment were covered in spoiled milk,” says Niswonger. “The warehouse was several stories high and consisted of tight, compressed areas, so traditional lifts were not an option.”

After assessing the warehouse space, Scioto sent its workers to a rappelling certification class. Once they completed the course, they were able to rappel off the ceiling beams of the warehouse to access and scrub the milk-splattered areas.

Niswonger’s rappelling job is a perfect example of the complexity of industrial cleaning. New equipment is often required, or at least new ways to use old equipment. Compared to traditional office cleaning, industrial cleaning is often even more labor intensive and requires greater physical strength. Building service contractors must not only find the right type of employee, but they must also find managers that can brainstorm with clients to meet unique cleaning challenges, such as Scioto’s.

“Industrial cleaning requires the right kind of people,” says Niswonger. “You want a manager that’s a problem solver and has the technical and mechanical ability to understand industrial manufacturing environments.”   

next page of this article:
Dirtier Jobs Can Necessitate Special Industrial Cleaning Equipment